Cancer prevention for gay men

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Written by Michelle Cyca on Tuesday, November 18, 2014

November is a month for thinking about men’s health, with Movember campaigns in full gear to raise awareness about prostate cancer, the most common cancer affecting men. However, for men who have sex with men (MSM) and men who identify as gay or bisexual, it can be a challenge to find cancer information specific to them. This is largely due to the fact that there isn’t much information available on cancer rates and risks for sexual minorities: cancer registries do not include information on sexual orientation, and even estimating the number of LGBTQ Canadians can be difficult, as many are reluctant to disclose their sexuality due to stigma.

However, the research evidence that is available suggests that gay men and MSM are different from straight men in their risk behaviours and cancer rates in ways that merit tailored education and prevention efforts.

Here are some ways gay men and MSM can reduce their risk of cancer:

While cancer is one of the leading health threats in British Columbia, about half of cancers can be prevented. By following the above recommendations, gay men and MSM can reduce their risk.